HC Deb 17 July 1946 vol 425 cc1195-7
8. Colonel Gomme-Duncan

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the estimated value, respectively, of wireless valves, watches, and new accumulators which have never had acid in them, which have been broken up since VJ-Day on No. 3 site, R.N. stores depot, Almondbank, and why these were not disposed of to the public through normal channels.

Mr. Alexander

No serviceable wireless valves, watches or new accumulators have been broken up at No. 3 site, R.N. Store Depot, Perth, since VJ-Day. Scrapping of these items has been limited to valves which have become unserviceable, and watches defective beyond repair, which have been taken to pieces to obtain serviceable components.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is not in accordance with the information given to me locally?

Mr. Alexander

I prefer to rely upon mine, Sir.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Can the Minister say what arrangements are being made for the sale of surplus Admiralty stores, whether people in North-Eastern Scotland will have an opportunity of inspecting and buying them, and, if so, when and where?

Mr. Alexander

In order to be as economical as possible, all stores of this kind are generally dealt with through the Ministry of Supply. Anything of this kind is turned over to the Ministry of Supply for disposal.

9. Colonel Gomme-Duncan

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the total value of the buildings, machinery, stores and stock, respectively, destroyed in the fire at the end of 1945 on Site 2 in R.N. stores, Almondbank; if the cause of the outbreak has been ascertained; and whether he is aware that the amount of the damage was increased by the fact that no key was available on the site to open the building where the fire started and so deal with it expeditiously.

Mr. Alexander

The estimated loss caused by the fire at the R.N. Stores Depot, Almondbank, is as follows:

Buildings destroyed and site clearance 24,000
Heating and electric light and power plant 6,000
Shop plant, personal tools, etc. 13,000
Naval stores 37,000
Despite thorough investigation it has been impossible to ascertain the cause of the outbreak. There is no evidence of electrical circuit failure, of electrical overheating, sabotage or spontaneous combustion. A key of the workshop was available, but, unfortunately, valuable time was lost owing to an error in its disposal when the outbreak was discovered, and the firefighters were obliged to break their way into the building. The reports on this fire are still under consideration with a view to the issue of instructions designed to prevent a recurrence of such an outbreak.